Oscars 2010: The nominees

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Tom Huddleston offers his acute analysis on the list of nominees for the 2010 Academy Awards

So the Oscar nominations are in, and perhaps the only surprise is that they are, in the major categories at least, completely unsurprising.

Even this most staid and predictable of awards ceremonies usually manages to pull a few leftfield choices out of the bag – think Melissa Leo’s Best Actress nod for ‘Frozen River’ last year, or Julian Schnabel’s Best Director nomination for ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ in 2008 – but this time they’ve gone for the heavy hitters all the way.

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot to be happy about. Us Brits can be proud of Carey Mulligan, whose superb central turn in ‘An Education’ is rewarded with a Best Actress nod, along with the film itself in the Best Picture category, though that seems an outside bet. It’s also great to see ‘In The Loop’ in contention for Adapted Screenplay (if the Academy had a ‘Best Swearing’ category, it’d be a shoo-in), and Colin Firth nestling alongside the Hollywood royalty for his central turn as ‘A Single Man’.

In fact, looking further down the list this seems like the most international Oscars in living memory: we expected to find films like ‘The White Ribbon’ in the Best Foreign Language category, but its well-deserved nomination for Cinematography comes as a pleasant surprise. Add to that a nomination for 'Il Divo' for Make Up and ‘Paris 36’ in the Original Song category and it seems as though the Academy is finally beginning to ditch isolationism and reward movies which genuinely deserve it, no matter what their origin.

In the big categories, there’s not so much to be excited about: very nice to see ‘District 9’ up for Best Picture, and although there’s now room in that category to include outside bets like ‘Up’, it is likely that film will have to make do with Best Animated Feature.

The acting awards are equally unadventurous: expect to see Jeff Bridges take home a well-deserved gold chap for ‘Crazy Heart’, alongside Christoph Waltz's sinister supporting turn winning what we imagine will be the one notable award for ‘Inglourious Basterds’.

Of course, the safe money is on ‘The Hurt Locker’ and ‘Avatar’. The former is back on a roll following wins at both the Directors and Producers Guilds Awards last weekend. And while ‘Avatar’ still feels like the one to beat in light of the Golden Globes, a closer look at the nominations should be enough to give James Cameron pause. For one, there’s no acting nominations – unsurprising, given the nature of the film. But also to miss out in the writing categories seems more ominous: it’s hard to remember a Best Picture winner which hasn’t secured at least a nomination for the script, if not a win – except, worringly, 'Titanic'. Further down the list, ‘Avatar’ appears to be on equally shaky ground: with only nine nominations in total, most of them in the editing, sound and special effects categories, there’s no way the film can equal the 11-statuette haul of 'Titanic'.

And those nominations in full...

Best picture

Avatar
District 9
An Education
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious
A Serious Man
Up in the Air
The Blind Side
Up

Directing
Avatar (James Cameron)
The Hurt Locker (Kathryn Bigelow)
Inglourious Basterds (Quentin Tarantino)
Up in the Air (Jason Reitman)
Precious (Lee Daniels)

Actress in a leading role
Meryl Streep in Julie & Julia
Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side
Helen Mirren in The Last Station
Gabourey Sidibe in Precious
Carey Mulligan in An Education

Actor in a leading role
Morgan Freeman in Invictus
Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart
George Clooney in Up in the Air
Colin Firth in A Single Man
Jeremy Renner in The Hurt Locker

Actress in a supporting role

Mo'Nique in Precious
Vera Farmiga in Up in the Air
Penélope Cruz in Nine
Anna Kendrick in Up in the Air
Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart

Actor in a supporting role

Christoph Waltz in Inglourious Basterds
Christopher Plummer in The Last Station
Matt Damon in Invictus
Stanley Tucci in The Lovely Bones
Woody Harrelson in The Messenger

Foreign language film

Ajami
A Prophet
The Secret of Her Eyes
The White Ribbon
The Milk of Sorrow


Animated feature film

Up
The Princess and the Frog
Coraline
Fantastic Mr Fox
The Secret of Kells

Writing (adapted screenplay)
District 9
An Education
Precious
Up in the Air
In the Loop


Writing (original screenplay)

The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
A Serious Man
Up
The Messenger

Documentary (feature)
Burma VJ
The Cove (Louie Psihoyos)
Food, Inc (Robert Kenner)
The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers (Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith)
Which Way Home?

Documentary (short subject)
China's Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province
The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner
The Last Track: Closing of a GM Plant
Music by Prudence
Rabbit a la Berlin

Film editing
Avatar
District 9
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Precious

Makeup
Il Divo
The Young Victoria
Star Trek

Music (original score)
Avatar
Fantastic Mr Fox
Up
The Hurt Locker
Sherlock Holmes

Music (original song)
Almost There, from The Princess and the Frog by Randy Newman
Down in New Orleans, from The Princess and the Frog by Randy Newman
Loin de Paname, from Paris 36
Take it All, from Nine by Maury Yeston
The Weary Kind, from Crazy Heart by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Short film (animated)
French Roast
Granny O'Grimm's Sleeping Beauty
Logoramam
The Lady and the Reaper
A Matter of Loaf and Death

Short film (live action)
The Door
Instead of Abracadabra
Kavi
Miracle Fish
The New Tenants

Sound editing
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Up

Sound mixing
Avatar
The Hurt Locker
Inglourious Basterds
Star Trek
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Visual effects
Avatar
District 9
Star Trek

Author: Tom Huddleston



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